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Cinemas Recovering Slowly After Restrictions

Hungary Today 2021.06.21.

Despite the softening, audiences returning to cinemas is slow-going, and most of the Hungarian movie theaters are fighting to financially break even, according to the President of the National Association of Cinemas (MOSZ), who is nevertheless still positive about the future.

“Despite eased rules, there was no rush back to cinemas, the audience has only been arriving back very slowly, but the fact that after a long period of cold weather and closures, most people prefer to go outside and want to relax there also plays a role. Despite initial difficulties, attendance data is now on the rise. We are going forward at full steam, even if we are still far from the 2019 levels,” MOSZ president Erika Borsos said.

In spite of receiving subsidies, most cinemas have used up their reserves by now, and with current revenues they hardly come out to zero and cannot put aside anything for renovations and developments, Borsos also explained.

Finding workers is another point of friction. After announcements were made so swiftly, most cinemas were hard-pressed to find employees, while several cinemas still couldn’t solve staffing issues, further postponing reopening, she revealed.

According to the restrictions currently in effect, entry is only permitted with a valid immunity certificate. Those under 18 must be accompanied by an immune adult, something that still keeps away teenage groups, for example. Neither mask wearing, nor distance-keeping is mandatory any longer, however.

featured image: cinema goers on the first day of reopening; illustration via Zoltán Balogh/MTI